MICE In­dus­try Mar­ket­ing BS

Di­rec­tor of Con­fer­ence Fo­cus, Max Turpin is shar­ing his insights on a range of top­ics with a reg­u­lar col­umn in BEN. Top­ics in­clude new gen­er­a­tion events and mak­ing events ef­fec­tive and valu­able.

Business Events News - - News -

THERE are cer­tain words and say­ings that have crept into our in­dus­try that trig­ger me. There’s not enough ed­i­to­rial space here to list them all, so I’ll call out just a few that bug me.

Tak­ing guests “On a Jour­ney” - Mar­ket­ing metaphor BS

If I had a fre­quent flyer point for every time I’ve read or heard some­one say, “guests were taken on a jour­ney” or “let’s take them on a jour­ney” in re­la­tion to at­tend­ing an event or to the mar­ket­ing of an event, I’d have enough points to fly to the moon and back. This fig­ure of speech has be­come com­pletely overused, and in many in­stances where it’s at­tempted, the re­al­ity falls well short of the prom­ise. Guests may have a great time but they haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced any kind of odyssey. In real life, the only jour­ney most peo­ple may be think­ing about or are in­ter­ested in is their next fam­ily hol­i­day or per­haps their next in­ter­state busi­ness trip. To me, much of the time, use of this metaphor is just clichéd, fan­ta­sy­land mar­ket­ing BS.

“Be­spoke” - Im­pe­ri­ous, high­hat BS

The term be­spoke de­rives from the word be­speak, mean­ing “to be spo­ken for”. The term was born out of the tai­lor­ing world of the 17th cen­tury when tai­lors held lengths of cloth and cus­tomers could se­lect fab­ric from which a suit would then be made for them. If an­other cus­tomer were to ask for the same ma­te­rial, he would be in­formed that is was “spo­ken for”. Hence, be­spoke tai­lors and suits. In Aus­tralia over re­cent years, any­thing pre­vi­ously termed “tai­lored” or “cus­tom-de­signed” has be­come “be­spoke”. Some event man­age­ment com­pa­nies have jumped on it. It’s just a glo­ri­fied, grandiose and pompous way of say­ing we tai­lor our ser­vices to your spe­cific re­quire­ments. By us­ing the term, I won­der if they now wear top-hats to work and keep fresh bread and cu­cum­bers on­site for af­ter­noon tea. Good day to you, squire.

“Unique” - Stat­ing the bleedin’ ob­vi­ous BS

The def­i­ni­tion of unique is be­ing the only one of its kind and un­like any­thing else. Dis­re­gard­ing unit blocks in high-den­sity liv­ing ar­eas and ter­raced houses of the 17th and 18th cen­turies, logic tells you that no two build­ings are the same. This is es­pe­cially true of ho­tels, re­sorts and spe­cial­ity venues. Yet many feel it nec­es­sary to point out the bleedin’ ob­vi­ous by in­form­ing us that their prop­erty is “unique”. I guess they want to make it sound spe­cial and re­mark­able…. leav­ing us to re­flect upon its dis­tinc­tive, ex­tra-spe­cial, re­mark­able unique­ness.

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